Classic Example of a Future Accident

Elisabeth Paté-Cornell, Stanford University

The classic example of an accident that hasn’t happened yet: the heating tiles of the space shuttle. The first 33 flights consisted of errors in maintenance. Dr. Elisabeth Paté-Cornell describes how she discovered that technicians were mixing water with the glue, so the heating would adhere faster to the surface; though, by diluting the contacting bond, it put the heating tiles more at risk during the space shuttle’s reentry into Earth. Her team created a map of the space shuttle and the most crucial heating tiles. In the end, she made recommendations based upon the data and research.